I've decided the time has come to share a little fiction with you so meet Lillie (and yes, there will be spanking - just not today!)
"No no that just won't do you stupid child - I said the best cutlery!" She snapped, surveying the table I'd painstakingly laid for her luncheon with her odious friends.
"The best cutlery is only for special occasions." I replied tightly, trying not to glare at her. She doesn't like that - me glaring. It was true though, my mother's best cutlery had only come out at Christmas and on other important days.
"And since when were you the Mistress of this house?" She hissed, digging her nails into my shoulders. I looked her straight in the eyes and raised my eyebrows, somehow holding her gaze even when she slapped me around the face. Sometimes she needs reminding that this house didn't use to belong to her, even if does now.
"Just reset it!" She ordained before storming out; probably to powder her nose again. Reluctantly I set about redoing the table, though I have no idea why her friends need solid silver forks, sometimes I think she actually does it on purpose to nettle me. It's a shame that she's so successful.
You see, things weren't always like this. Father was a merchant captain but he'd moved into shipping and doing well for himself, before it happened he'd owned four ships. Mother was beautiful, always smiling and a fabulous pianist. He'd taken her with him on a voyage to the Caribbean trading, I'd been left behind. They say that pirates sunk his fleet but I don't suppose I'll ever know for sure. The only thing that was certain was that in losing them he'd lost everything, more than everything. Serious men had come and taken everything away, the cook and maid were let go - I guess that was the easy bit.
The complicated bit was me - what to do with a sixteen year old who suddenly has nothing in the world. The solution that I'd stay on as housekeeper to the new owners had probably seemed generous to everyone but me; after all I'm no more housekeeper than a clown in the circus. In reality I wish they'd thrown me into the streets, watching that vulgar couple in my parents house was excruciating. One thing was for certain, it couldn't go on much longer.